Chocolate Fest events planned
KOHALA COAST — If you think you know everything about chocolate — think again!
Find out tricks for using chocolate in the kitchen and to better grow cacao, the tree that produces the coveted cocoa bean. All the fun is part of the Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) April 26-27. With the exception of a guided cacao plantation tour, all activities are at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort.
Friday April 26
• 8:30-9:30 a.m.: Plantation Tour at Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory in Keauhou. Visit the nation’s first tree-to-bar chocolate operation to see cacao growing on trees and how it’s processed. Hear about the chocolate-making process and enjoy samples, $25 fee donated to festival’s beneficiaries.
• 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: College Culinary Student Competition. Students from UH-Maui and UH-Palamanui perform as teams to create dishes using chocolate.
Cacao Farming Seminars: $40 fee provides entry into all three farming seminars:
• 1-1:45 p.m. “Get Rid of What’s Bugging You” by Eli Isele, UH-CTAHR assistant extension agent for sustainable edible crops production. Based out of the Komohana Research and Education Center in Hilo, Isele works with organic and sustainable growers of cacao, macadamia nuts, breadfruit, taro and vegetables. He will address pest management of the Chinese Rose Beetle Adoretus sinicus, which feasts on young cacao leaves, and share the results of the recent Hawaii Cacao Survey.
• 2-2:45 p.m. “Cacao Research Updates” by Dr. Alyssa Cho, UH-CTAHR assistant researcher in sustainable farming systems. Also based at the Komohana Research Center at UH-Hilo, Dr. Cho works closely with growers and industry organizations and leads projects involving cacao post-harvest handling and processing, propagation and varietal evaluation.
• 3-3:45 p.m. “Making Chocolate Seed to Tree to Bean to Bar in Hawaii.” Dr. Nat Bletter of Oahu’s Madre Chocolate covers cultivation and fermentation while focusing on chocolate production so attendees can get all the value from their crops while honoring the terroir of where it is grown. The founder of Madre and an ethnobotanist, Bletter researched equatorial medicinal plants such as cacao, which spurred him to start a traditional-ingredient, high-antioxidant and artisanal chocolate company.
• 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Chocolate &Organic Tequila Pairings. $50 each or $85 for two. Tattoo Tequila’s John Atanasio does the unexpected, showing how three different, organic tequilas and uniquely flavored chocolates can tastefully complement each other. A limited number of attendees get to taste and see for themselves—and enjoy pupus! Decadent chocolate bonbons are presented by Farsheed Bonakdar of the Cocoa Outlet.
Saturday, April 27
Chocolate Culinary Demonstrations, $75 for all or $35 each at the door
• 9:30-11 a.m. Demonstration: “Wow Guests with this Plated Dessert” by David Brown, chef instructor at Oahu’s Kapiolani Community College. Chef will create Hawaiian Kokoleka, a panna cotta with milk chocolate ice cream, exotic cacao nib consommé and fried lychee. A 40-year-pastry professional, Brown served for two decades as executive pastry chef at the Hilton Waikoloa Village and then was the chef/owner of a Waikoloa Beach Resort restaurant.
• 11:15-12:45 p.m. Demonstration: “Chocolate Crystallization using Couvertures” by Alicia Boada, the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate, whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa.
• 1-2:30 p.m. Demonstration: “Creating an Artistic Chocolate Sculpture” by Stéphane Tréand MOF of The Pastry School. Chef offers tips on how to add artistic flair to your chocolate creations. Tréand’s prestigious Pastry School in California instructs students of all abilities in the pastry and baking arts. The finished creation will be displayed at the BICF gala.
Also available is the Saturday I LOVE Chocolate! all-day pass for culinary demos and gala priced at $155.
Chocolate decadence culminates 5-9 p.m. April 27 with the festival gala at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort.
Pop-up poets part of Guild show
North Kohala was teeming with talent during the March author reading at the Kohala Public Library. Poets, fiction, humor, and non-fiction authors read from their selected works. The audience was even treated to a poem set to music! Members of the Hawaii Writers Guild wowed community members by sharing their original writings, ranging from serious to humorous
Eila Algood coordinated and emceed the event. She kicked off the evening by introducing the new guild president, Diann Wilson, who shared information about the organization and its upcoming activities.
The Guild is an organization of writers whose purpose is to promote the written and spoken word. As in the past, the group will continue to offer public readings, hold workshops, and participate in community events by hosting tables where members can sell their books. In addition to these activities, the Guild is in the process of creating a local resource list for writers and developing a juried on-line literary review.
After Wilson’s remarks, the readings began with Pete Cameron reciting a heart-felt poem about the open spaces of Kohala and the changes we are facing. His piece introduced the audience to the evening’s special twist – pop up poets. To enhance the already popular event, Algood invited poets stand and read (or sing) one of their poems in between the longer author readings.
The pop-up poets for the evening, were: Pete Cameron, Laura Burkhart, Virginia Fortner, Helena Kim, Margaret King Zacharias (read by Holly Algood) and Jim Gibbons.
Authors with longer readings were: Carla Orellana, Donna Maltz, Diann Wilson, Louise Riofrio, Linda Petrucelli, and Mahealani Wendt (read by Irma Decenzo and Ku’u Lei Perez
The Hawaii Writers Guild would like to thank Francis Hebert, Branch Manager at the North Kohala Library, for hosting the event.